SWEDEN: Deployment bolsters efforts in Baltic Sea region to defend sovereignty

Sweden stepped up its defense activities in the Baltic Sea region in August 2020 due to what a high-ranking official called “a deteriorating security situation” as Russia and NATO conducted military operations there.

The Swedish Armed Forces said they initiated a “high-readiness action,” pictured, in the southeastern and southern Baltic Sea region due to the “current, extensive military activity.” Sweden is not a NATO member. The military said the goal “is to strengthen maritime surveillance in the Baltic Sea at sea and from the air.”

The Baltic News Service reported that four Russian naval ships were detected near Latvian territorial waters. Two frigates from a NATO maritime force were to visit the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda. “Extensive military operations are underway in the Baltic Sea region, both from Russia and the West, in a way that in some parts has not been experienced since the days of the Cold War,” Vice Adm. Jan Thornqvist, the Swedish military’s chief of joint operations, said.

In a statement, he said it was the military’s assessment “that the risk of a military attack on Sweden is currently low, but the unpredictable security situation in our immediate area places high demands on our accessibility and preparedness.

“We follow, we adapt, and we choose methods in our way of meeting the world around us,” Thornqvist said.